The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Livestock => Sheep => Topic started by: earlybird on October 25, 2012, 12:58:30 pm

Title: what and how much to feed
Post by: earlybird on October 25, 2012, 12:58:30 pm
 :wave:hello, got sheep for the first time this year,  they have been out in pasture and i am now thinking of bringing them up to the front yard as where we are is on marsh land and gets very spongy.. I would like to now how best to keep them and what to feed them on, they will have housing with access on to a large hardstanding yard , i have wheat and barley straw, hay and corn also some multi stock nuts, but dont know what is best to feed them and how much at a time, they are this years lambs very well gown and i have 3 ewes and a young ram so am hoping to breed this season as they are early lambs and well grown. thankyou :sheep: :sheep:
Title: Re: what and how much to feed
Post by: SallyintNorth on October 26, 2012, 03:49:33 am
If you're tupping this year's lambs they certainly should be getting some hard feed.  1/2lb per head per day for a commercial-type. What breed are they?

Your multi-stock feed should be fine for the ewe lambs but you need to check if it's safe for male sheep.

Unless there's only puddled mud for them to lie on and nibble at, I'd say they'll be better off at grass, even if it's marshy, than in a yard.  All our ground is what I suspect you would call marshy and all our sheep live out year round.  Housing sheep brings its own problems, which you would be best to avoid if possible.

If you do bring them in, then other than the hard feed, they'll need clean straw for bedding and some hay if you are taking them off the pasture.  Expect to feed four a small bale of hay over 7-10 days, assuming a good sized (25kgish) bale.  Give them what they'll eat and clean up twice a day, if you can, otherwise they will waste a lot.

If you do decide to keep them out, offer them hay - again only what they'll clean up each time - and you'll soon know if there's enough grass for them to eat or not.  I'd still keep them out, feeding a bit of cake and hay, unless they are getting muddy bodies from having nowhere dry to lie.
Title: Re: what and how much to feed
Post by: Victorian Farmer on October 29, 2012, 10:20:37 am
i think you should run my farm sallyintnorth well said .In 2 weeks winter will start iv looked at the wether charts and December and late November will be the winter mild January naw my barn is fixt for the first time i will bring in the 200 ewes and make things es er for me.Its very hard in the highlands the sheep are  4 miles away qwod bike no good in deep snow and the hydraulics froze on the tractor 2010 so very hard .
Title: Re: what and how much to feed
Post by: SallyintNorth on October 29, 2012, 04:06:59 pm
It's good to hear you've been able to get prepared for the coming winter, VF.  2009 caught us all out - it'd been decades since we'd had a freeze like that one, hadn't it?  Then 2010 caught us all out again, the same thing as the year before but coming a month earlier and staying so very long.

Our farm is spread out, but the steading is more-or-less central in the ground, so our furthest extremities are all within a mile.  But as you say, a quad's no help if the snow is soft and deeper than its axles...

Title: Re: what and how much to feed
Post by: Victorian Farmer on October 29, 2012, 08:16:14 pm
it bothers me when im right ,i said on friday that winter would start the middle of november i also said that the forcast is the same as 2010 and gess whot this was said on a paid forcast .                                  Medium range forecasts are best assembled by looking at a number of computer model runs over a period of days rather than looking at one in isolation, but the overnight ECM run caught my this morning. If the evolution it shows during the next 10 days turns out be correct (a massive if of course, and the latest GFS looks quite a lot different) I think we’d have a good chance of seeing a significant wintry outbreak in mid or late November. I’ve pasted in the ECM chart for Tuesday 6th November and some of the key things I look for are in place, blocking to the west and north, and cold arctic air being pulled down to the north east of Britain. My guess is that from this position we’d be about 2 weeks away from catching a nasty chill in Britain. Another interesting thing this year is that if the cold block does become established in western Europe early in the winter, ENSO conditions are much less likely later in the winter to help push it back 2000 miles east where it belongs. It could all amount to nothing and we may still end up mild, but very interesting times ahead nonetheless